Can I go to jail for not paying a car mechanic?

I was in an accident and took my car to get it fixed. When it was done I was supposed to pay but ended up getting bitten by a spider. I lost the back half of my leg and have been out of work for a while. Now they want to take legal action. Can I go to jail for that?

Asked on October 15, 2018 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can only go to jail for committing a criminal act. And if you intended to pay for the service when it was rendered, then that is not a crime. There was no fraud or the like committed. That having been said, if you do not pais then that is still a civil matter for which you can be sued.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't be jailed unless there is credible evidence that you *never* intended to pay, since that would constitute criminal fraud--deceiving someone into giving you valuable services. You  can, of course, be sued for the money and in some cases, legal fees, too.

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